WHY USE BOILER WATER TREATMENT?
"As an Independent Boiler Inspector I get to see inside a wide variety of road engine boilers, my advice to customers always is to use tannin based boiler treatment in their boilers.
Having used Multitreat TC and lately Multitreat TS in my own engine over the past few years I am now beginning to reap the benefits. It is lifting off the scale from the firebox and shell plates, which accumulated during the time when I did not use treatment. A set of tubes which were fitted five years ago show little or no sign of scab pitting as yet. In fact the whole boiler internally is being protected from corrosion by a layer of tannin.
Although I try to maintain the correct dosage by checking the boiler water with a Heritage Steam Supplies 'drop test' Kit, I still find the best indicator for the right dosage of Multitreat TC or TS is to draw off a sample (from the boiler through the gauge glass drain before I steam the engine) into a clear glass. If the sample of boiler water is the colour of bitter shandy it is too weak. If it is the colour of stout, too much treatment is being added. If it is the colour of bitter, it's about right!
We did have trouble with priming briefly, when we picked up some bad water. Following advise from their boiler chemist I now add a teaspoon of Heritage Steam Antifoam to each 500ml does of Multitreat TS and we have not primed since. Needless to say, I still 'Washout the boiler every fourteen days' as instructed on the brass plate fitted to our Ruston when it was new in 1920!
By far the best example of diligent long term use of tannin based water treatment I have seen was in the boiler of the Aveling Tractor 'Clementine' which I inspected a few yearsback. The owner had a new firebox fitted. Internally the platework, stays and rivets appeared as good as the day they were fitted in 1986. I only wish I had followed the same practice to the letter in my own Traction Engine."
Independent Boiler Inspector.